Stored cysteine proteinases start globulin mobilization in protein bodies of embryonic axes and cotyledons during vetch (Vicia sativa L.) seed germination
Inhibition of protein synthesis by cycloheximide during vetch seed germination, did not prevent globulin breakdown as indicated by a decrease in vicilin- and legumin-specific immunosignals on Western blots. Protein bodies isolated from embryo axes and cotyledons of dry vetch (Vicia sativa L.) seeds using a non-aqueous method were found to be free of cytoplasmic and organellar contaminations. Lysates of these purified protein bodies were capable of degrading globulins; this process was blocked by the cysteine proteinase (CPR) inhibitor iodoacetic acid. Protein bodies contained the papain-like CPR2 and CPR4, and the legumain-like CPR VsPB2. In vitro assays showed that albumin extracts from protein bodies degraded oligopeptide substrates in the PepTag-Assay and degraded the legumain substrate N-benzoyl-asparaginyl-p-nitroanilide. We conclude that, during germination, globulin mobilization is initiated by stored CPRs in protein bodies of embryonic axes as well as cotyledons, and that de-novo-formed proteolytic enzymes mainly mediate bulk degradation of stored globulin in cotyledons after germination.
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